20 Questions with Cover Model Mindy Muylaert
1. Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Mindy Muylaert?
Well, as you said my name is Mindy Muylaert. I’m a wife, a mother of two beautiful boys and I’m passionate about weight lifting and competing as a figure competitor.
2. Please tell us a bit about your family, friends and surroundings?
I come from a small town, moved to the city when I finished college and got my first full-time job. My parents along with my older brother still live in the small town I was raised ( actually my whole family is there) I’ve been with my husband for close to 15 years and like I mentioned we have two beautiful boys ages 10 and 7. We have a great relationship with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law who also have two kids and we love to spend our time with. We are blessed to have a great group of friends and neigbours who have kids the same ages as ours, so it makes getting together on the weekends fun for the whole family.
3. How did you start competing in figure?
I really got into going to the gym and starting to make some good changes to my shape. A fellow gym member stopped me one day and asked if I was training for a show. Me having no clue what he was talking, had him explain and then I replied with; I could never! Lol…Went home to my husband told him what this gentlemen had said and he replied with ; I’ve always thought you have the body to compete. You should consider doing it. So I did! I did my first show in 2016 and swore I was never doing that again, and here we are 4 years later and 8 shows in.
4. What is your personal policy (not what the judges want) about conditioning and muscularity when coming into a show? Soft or hard?
I personally like to try and come in as lean as I can get. I like the hard look, and always strive to have striations…however, my legs are a big challenge for me. I have a hard time leaning them out and getting that striated look. I’m fairly confident that will come in time and with more growth. Also, every prep you do you get better and your shape changes for the better and things look different each time.
5. What is your idea of what judges want in a Figure competitor? Do you think judges are clear enough with competitors about how they want you on stage? It seems in Europe they are very clear unlike in the USA and now in Canada things are confusing.
I personally believe they are looking for symmetry, nice wide back, tapered waist with striated legs, tight glutes. They also want a total package, to the hair, make-up, suit. I believe they want their breath taken away when you step on that stage, to look confident and showcase your figure to where they don’t want to take their eyes off you. To stand out amongst the rest. Are they clear as to what they want to see or what they are looking for? I like to think they are. I’m Canadian and I feel the CPA makes it clear to what they want and expect on stage.
6. For the next shows what do you think you need to work on physique-wise/conditioning-wise? If anything!
I need a wider back, and with a wider back it will give that illusion of a smaller waist. I need tighter glutes and personally (as it’s always a thing for me) I want better legs. I tend to hold a lot of water in my lower half, so really trying to focus on that, bringing more striated legs and getting the glutes tighter.
7. What is your typical training routine in the gym (per day, include sets and reps!) How much cardio do you do before a show?
I do a 10 minute warm on a cardio machine. I usually pick the stepmill or elliptical. My sets and reps change depending on my plan that my coach as designed specifically for me and my needs. I actually don’t do a crazy about of cardio before a show. Towards the end of prep I’m at about 40 minutes 4xweek and roughly 20 minutes post training session. Depends on my schedule with my work and kids whether I do fasted cardio in the morning and weight train later, or if I train in the morning and do my cardio at some point in the day or evening.
8. What is your pre-contest diet? (per day, 1 week before the show)
My diet doesn’t change much at all during my whole prep, just quantities slowly decrease as I get closer to show day. The last 4 weeks we tend to stick to only certain carbs, and vegetables and I will eat more white fish as my protein. I even eat the exact same on show day. No playing around, just keep it simple and keep it to what my body is use to.
9. How do you go about dropping your water before the day of the show? How much water do you drink the day of the show. Please be specific.
So we water load the day before my show. I generally tend to drink a lot of water on the daily so the day before I will drink 11-12 litres of water and around dinner time I will take ¼ of a diuretic. It's crazy but I will drop close to 8lbs by morning. The day of the show I sip water all day but I will drink it slowly, not chug but definitely I keep hydrated!
10. What motivates you to train/diet and compete? Are there any competitors you looked up to?
Honestly I motivate myself, I’m always trying to be better, look better then I did the last time! IG for me is a great motivator. I follow so many amazing women athletes, and they just motivate me to kill it the next time I’m at the gym. I have an amazing coach who is someone I look up to and I just want to make her proud. She’s a great motivator and truly a wonderful friend.
11. Please tell us an interesting experience you had at a show recently, be it a fun thing or something rather not so fun?
Well the day I was driving to Ohio to do the Arnolds, I was on social media and read how the Arnold’s was potentially not going to happen because of COVID19. You could only imagine my heart dropped and instantly I started replaying the months that led to that day in my head panicking that I wasn’t going to be able to showcase what I worked so hard for the last 16 weeks. Even up to the day before Show day there was a possibility that I wouldn’t step on stage. I can’t remember exactly when we were told the show was going to go on? But they informed us the show would happen and it would be very different then any of the past shows. Such a big relief to hear those words, but also sad my experience wasn’t going to be what I had hoped for….bitter sweet I guess you could say. The big thing was they were not going to allow spectators into the venue. I was completely sad that my number one supporter (my husband) wasn’t going to be in the crowd to cheer me on! Not even my coach was allowed into the venue. The only ppl in the venue were the judges. Everyone else would watch the live feed. Not having my coach allowed in was a big concern for me. I’m so use to her being back stage and telling me what to do, that this added a whole new set of nerves for me to do have to do it on my own. But I did learn two things from this experience, I had zero nerves on stage knowing no one was watching expect the judges! Lol….but that I actually do know my body well and was able to prep myself and get myself pumped up on my own without the guidance of my coach.
12. What is your personal opinion about the figure, fitness, bodybuilding industry we are in? Anything you would like to see changed?
There are some good things about the industry and there are a lot of bad things. Just like anything I think you have to really know what you are getting yourself into. It’s an extremely expensive sport/hobby to get into. Its very challenging on your current relationship as it takes all your time. You have to make a ton of sacrifices, and miss out on a lot of functions. And essentially most people, not all but could take YEARS to get that pro card if that is something you are wanting. One thing I would like to see in Canada with competing is that, Canada give out more pro cards. The most that are given out at a national show is 14 (don’t quote me on that number, but its not much) also, I think they should be giving pro cards out for grand masters, so those are two things for sure I would like to see change.
13. What has been your hardest challenge to overcome either in your personal life or competing career?
A challenge for me was when my career changed to be a recognized profession, which essentially meant we would have to upgrade our learning and then write 2 exams with the pharmacy examining board. This came at a time where I was pregnant with our first son. So while I was pregnant and after I had my son, I was back to school for 3 hours twice a week doing 4 courses. Then after the courses were done I was to do a written exam and a practical, Which I needed to pass to keep my job. So the stress of going back to school, being a new mom, trying to study and make sure I pass, was a time I wouldn’t want to do again!
14. Did you make any changes to your contest prep for your last show? Water intake, carbing up, etc...
No, we changed nothing. Why fix something that isn’t broken?!
15. What do you think of bikini division?
Bikini never really interested me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the category and I love watching the girls on stage, just never was something I wanted to do.
16. What are your favorite foods to eat right after you compete on a Saturday night?
ALWAYS I want a big greasy, juicy fat loaded up BURGER with a side of sweet potato fries and chipotle mayo for dipping….My mouth just watered typing that.
17. Please tell us about how you were raised and did you have any interesting experiences while growing up?
Raised in a small town, had a great family life. My mom did everything for my brother and I. She was the best mom! We lived in a very clean organized home, we had structure and routine. We ate dinner as a family every night even though my mom worked full-time, she always made a great dinner for us. We did lots of family trips to cottages and RV’ing. We spent most of our Sundays at the beach and would drive to Rock Glen park where we would have BBQs and play in the falls. Man, I have to say I was blessed to have a great childhood with loving parents! Life was good.
18. Do you have an athletic background? Gymnastics, soccer, volleyball or what?
I was always athletic, played every sport and was very big into track and field. I was on the high school basketball team and track team. I was a figure skater at a young age and LOVED Gymnastics. I’m 44 and still can do a round off back handspring…..maybe I should get into fitness??? hmm
19. What is a typical day in the life of Mindy Muylaert? From waking up to until going to bed?
I’m a morning person, so as soon as I step out of bed I put my workout clothes on and I get my workout in. Now pre COVID I would hit the gym, but with COVID I have set up a pretty sweet Gym in my basement. I wake up at 4am, so I like to get downstairs by 415. I usually finish up around 530, head up stairs and make my post workout meal and get ready for work. I work usually at 7am but I do have some shifts where I don’t start until later in the afternoon, or in the evening. I do also have some overnight shifts as well that I have to do. If I’m working at 7, I work until 3, come home and tidy up from the day ( kids are home now since schools out and have been home since March since COIVD started and we shut down) I’ll start prepping/making dinner usually around 4. After dinner could vary as to what we do as a family, now that its summer we hang outside, swim in our pool, golf when we can. Since my day starts early, I like to try and be in bed by 8-830. I aim to try and get at least 7-7.5 hours of sleep.
20. What is your current occupation? Please tell us more about it, what do you specifically do in your job?
I’m a RPhT (registered pharmacy Technician) I work at LHSC university campus here in the city I live in, I’ve been here now for 20 years. We’re responsible for preparation, distribution of prescription medication for every patient with in the hospital. We make IV’s, chemo, TPNs (total parenteral nutrition) we also compound and manufacture drugs in batches for high volume medication. I personally work in a smaller area of the pharmacy where we do Clinical Trials and that is were we do clinical research on drugs before they are marketed.